Thursday, December 22, 2011

80's Cartoon Fest

Call me biased but I have always taken pride of being born in the 80’s and had my formative years on that era going to the 90’s.  Spending one’s childhood in the 80-90’s circa meant many important things.  These were the times when there were still not so many gadgets (only the rich-working class back then had the ‘use’ for them anyway) to take kids’ attention other than BEING A KID.  Sorry for today’s generation, but cartoons back then ‘packed real punch’ (pun intended, ehe).  They were not in this time’s 3D glory but their luster did not measured short of the criteria of a good watch.  Most of these shows were backed by very strong story foundations and characters that every kid will be able to relate to.  Yes, even if you were that ‘emo’ (I wonder what they were called back then) kid or the ever jolly, enthusiastic, ‘the-world-is-so-cool’ type, surely there is that one character that you will liken to your character.

The internet is filled with features of this sort as people in my age group surely now have the economic powers to do research and well upload them.  My take on the other hand would involve featuring additional information or trivia I have gathered from the web.  For readers who are not familiar with these, I suggest go find ways to watch them.  I have been downloading them steadily these past few months with intention to have my nephew watch them. I personally like Spongebob, but hey, these other characters are much better in hundred of ways.

Special note: All rights are reserved to the rightful owners and creators of all featured series.  Images were gathered via the internet and are also attributable to the rightful owners.

FEATURE #1:  Cowabungga!!!

 The heroes in a half shell as they were popularly known; I am referring to the Saturday cartoon – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Who would have forgotten the four individually appealing ninja turtles named after famous Italian renaissance artists.  The team is composed of Donatello, Leonardo, Rafael and Michaelangelo.

Fun trivia:
  • The ninja’s sensei – Master Splinter – was a former ‘human’ named Hamato Yoshi; in the comic book version, however, there have been depictions that ‘Splinter’ was Hamato Yoshi’s pet rat and not Hamato himself.
  • The main human villain, on the other hand, was the former student of Hamato who betrayed him.  Yes, he is the cape-wearing black and purple Shredder.
  • The henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady are actually mutated Hog and rhino respectively.
  • For the weapon line-up, Leonardo uses the Katana; Donatello used a Bo-staff; Rafael used pair of Sai and Michaelangelo used Nunchucks.
  • Color scheme?  Yes, each turtle had their signature colors as well.  Leonardo wore blue, Donatello wore purple (which up until now I contest to be violet, ehe), Rafael had red and Michaelangelo’s was orange.
  • Personality distribution?  This is unofficial but technically, they were known by the following dispositions:
Donatello --- geeky, silent, reserved type
Leonardo --- straightforward leader type
Rafael --- hot-headed
Michaelangelo --- out-going and sometimes careless
  • What was April O’Neil’s real work?  There are quite some debates on this but to mention them all, she was a Lab assistant slash owner of a second-hand store, a waitress once in the comics and for the movie and cartoon, a news reporter.  Multi-talented eh?
  • The ‘fifth turtle’?  His name was Zach, he is a child who admires the turtles greatly and aspires to help them fight crime. He first appears in the episode ‘The Fifth Turtle’ of the 80’s cartoon series.

Additional information may be viewed from their official website:

FEATURE #2:  Thunder, thunder, thunder cats, Hoooo!!!

The opening song is very catchy and the animation is highly dynamic to compare with the rest of those existing during those times.  And what best way to attest its greatness but having a new series debuted this year via Cartoon Network.  I like the old animation though.  It had the perfect formula of a struggling prince trying to prove his worth.  Partner this with a villain sorcerer bent on dominating their world and you have the perfect plot that can branch into many episode possibilities.

Fun trivia:
  • Real life cheetahs can register speed of up to 75mph, but Cheetara can have them eat her dust with her whooping 120 miles per hour clock.  Note however that she can only run at top speed for the 1st 2 miles.
  • Mumm-Ra’s ‘kryptonite’ was.. seeing his own reflection… ehe, with a face like that it makes sense.
  • Chocolates anyone?  The twins were almost always referred to as Kit and Kat. Short for their real names Wilykit and Wilykat.
  • What’s the name of their ever reliable vehicle?  Thundertank…ehe
  • There is a Christian rock band Relient K who has a song about ThunderCats called "I'm Lion-O" on their 2001 album The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek.
  • There was a true ceremony that Lin-O had to earn the title as ‘Lord of the ThunderCats’ by defeating the ThunderCat nobles in "trials" - The Trials of Strength (Panthro), Speed (Cheetara), Cunning (WilyKit & Kat), and the Mind (Tygra). The fifth and final trial, the Trial of Evil, had Lion-O confront and defeat Mumm-Ra without the use of any weapons.
80's toy line

2012 rendition of the animation series revival

Feature #3:  May the light shine forever!

Imagine the world we know of today without technology.  Yes, the 80’s creative writers have already thought of it.  You have planet Prysmos plunge back into the old ways as technology all of a sudden fails and leave everyone to go back to the basics (imagine revisiting your simple pulleys).  The catch, the dawn of magic returns and it was the only way to survive and assert might.  Two ruling groups were tested by the wizard Merklynn and gave the ‘worthy’ knights powers to wield on their own.  At times, all they need was to do Merklynn’s bidding for a ‘recharge’ of sorts.

Fun trivia:
  • The name of the two groups:  Spectral Knights (good ones) and Darkling Lords (obviously the evil ones).
  • This series spun from an original toy line action figure by Hasbro in 1987.
  • Apart from the animated series, there is also a comic series both of which were part of Hasbro’s intention to advertise the action figure line.
  • Magical staff spells are as follows:
Wisdom - "Whispered secrets of a shattered age, I summon you: renew this sage!"
Protection - "Shield this craft from one and all. Reflect, deflect, depose and fall!"
Fire - "Draw upon the breath of stars, And scorch the skies with fiery scars!"
Strength - "Three suns aligned pour forth their light and fill the archer's bow with might!"
Lightspeed - "Sheathe these feet in the driving gale, Make swift these legs o'er land I sail!"
Knowledge - "A whim, a thought, and more is sought. Awake my mind; thy will be wrought!"
Healing - "By warmth of heart, your pain I feel. Grant me the power, your wounds to heal!"
Decay - "By what creeps, what crawls, by what does not; let all that grows recede and rot!"
Decay Reversal - "Power of rot, obscuring truth, what once was old restore to youth!"
Magic Extractor - "Flay the flesh, lay bare the bone. Upon this field, let grief be sown!"
Flight - "Wings of steel shall ride the breeze. Invade the air, the land, the seas!"
Destruction - "By nature's hand, by craft, by art; what once was one now fly apart!"
Fear - "Oh mist-filled pits, dark, dank, unclear; touch all before me with frost-fingered fear!"
Invulnerability - "The arrows turn, the swords rebel; let nothing pierce this mortal shell!"
Disease - "Wind of sickness, illness most vile, strike down my enemy, with disease revile!"

Feature #4:  Let our Powers Combine!

This is one animated series that should be remade or at least be re-introduced today.  True to its core foundations of caring for the environment, the Planeteers would be able to help disseminate information to the younger i-pad crunching generation.  For me, there is no true-environmentally conscious series other than the show Captain Planet and the Planeteers.  Watching this show not only made me learn about the environment but also about geography (with the Planeteers coming from different parts of the world) as well as the basic elements (myth wise ehe..)  The graphics are simple but somewhat borders to the realistic.  And it was one cartoon where the hero has weakness moments to spice things up.

Fun Trivia:
  • Tom Cruise was the original choice to voice behind ‘Captain Planet’.  He turned it down.
  • Whoppi Goldberg voiced Gaia for some time.
  • Even Elizabeth Taylor voiced over on one episode – A Formula for Hate.
  • At the same episode, the show touched on issues related to AIDS.
  • From seasons 1 & 2, Linka’s home country in the opening spiel was Soviet Union.  But in the 3rd season it was changed into Eastern Europe. Hmmm…
  • The series itself had so many changes.  From the title, it changed from the original ‘Captain Planet’ to ‘The New Adventures of Captain Planet’  this was due to changes in cartoon companies from DIC to Hanna Barbera.
  • Country and ring distributions as follows:
Ring type
Ghana, Africa
New York, North America
Soviet Union (Russia)
Eastern Europe
Thailand, Asia
Brazil, South America
  • And yes, there were counterparts.  The villains also once united to form ‘Captain Pollution’  ring owners, powers and counterparts as follows:

Villain Owner
Villain symbol
Ring counterpart
Super Radiation Ring
Duke Nukem
Fire ring
Deforestation Ring
Looten Plunder
Looting & Plunder
Earth ring
Smog Ring
Sly Sludge
Waste disposal
Wind ring
Toxic Ring
Verminous Skumm
Poor sanitation
Water ring
Hate ring
Dr. Blight
Dangers of technology
Heart ring


Don't worry, there will be more on the next installment of this blog series.

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